SHERIDAN — The Down Under recruiting pipeline continues to pay dividends for the Lady Generals.
Head coach Frank McCarthy announced late last week that the Sheridan College women’s basketball team has signed Nicole Fyfe and Pheobe Hinds, both of Brisbane, Australia.
“Nicole Fyfe is an outstanding, athletic point guard who can really see the floor well,” McCarthy said. “Pheobe Hinds is an excellent low-post player that can rebound, score and also run the floor.”
The Lady Generals last year were led by three Australian natives who averaged a combined 36 points per game. Fyfe, a 5-foot 10-inch point guard will attempt to fill the shoes left by fellow Australian-native Jasmine Davis, who is transferring to the University of Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team after her two years with the Lady Generals.
Australian players come to the attention of U.S. coaches through a U18 AAU-type program, where Fyfe averaged 10.7 points and 5.7 assists per game, shooting 38 percent from the 3-point line. Hinds, standing 6’1”, averaged 11.7 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Kayla Kiriau signed from last year’s team to continue her basketball career in Pennsylvania, while freshman Milomilo Nanai isn’t expected to return this fall.
Nanai was honorable mention All Region IX last year after leading the team in both points (15.8) and rebounds (8.9) per game.
“Australia and New Zealand have been a good connection for us,” McCarthy said. “The good thing about them is that they speak English. We’ve had girls from Latvia and girls from Sweeden and they don’t speak English. It’s hard enough going to college, and it’s even tougher if they don’t speak the language.”
NJCAA rules state teams are allowed three international players, and McCarthy plans to sign his third from the same area this week.
“We’ve got kind of a pipeline over there, and New Zealand and Australian players have been good to us,” he said.
So far this spring the Lady Generals have signed a wealth of regional talent including Katie Kuhn (Laramie), Sierra Toms (Gillette), Shae Bruursema (Reed Point, Mont.), Simirah Dennis (Billings), and Tiana Hanson (Shepherd, Mont.).
They will join Maddie Forney, Josie Three Irons, Kayla Willis and Morgan Wille from last year’s team.